COVINGTON, Ga. — District Attorney Randy McGinley said six defendants either pleaded guilty or juries found them guilty of crimes in Newton County Superior Court in November.
In a summary of some cases on the District Attorney's office's Facebook page, McGinley said De’andre Smith and Ladonna Bostic both pleaded guilty to Kidnapping, two counts of Armed Robbery, Hijacking a Motor Vehicle and numerous other counts based on an incident in September 2019 at multiple locations including the Wells Fargo bank on Georgia Hwy 142.
Smith received a sentence of 40 years with the first 14 years in prison while Bostic was sentenced to 30 years with 10 in prison. These were the last two defendants in what was a five-defendant case. The case was prosecuted by Deputy Chief Assistant District Attorney Jillian Hall, McGinley said.
The Sept. 23, 2019, incident occurred after a male victim met with a female that he had spoken with on a dating app.
When the victim arrived at the location to meet the female, "several males came from behind the residence and got into his car with a gun," according to the report. The males demanded money from the victim, but he told them he would have to get money from an ATM.
"The males forced the victim into the back of his own car, and they drove him to Wells Fargo in Covington," according to a release from Covington Police Department. "One of the males took the victim's debit card from him and withdrew money from his account."
The victim attempted to take the gun from one of the males and, during the attempt, a shot was fired, according to a news release.
In a separate case the week of Nov. 15, Charles Thomas Williams pleaded guilty to two counts of Robbery by Force connected to an incident at a Dollar General store on U.S. Hwy. 278 in December 2018.
McGinley said a jury had been selected in the case of Williams but, before opening statements, he pleaded guilty to the crime.
He was sentenced to 15 years with the first 10 years in prison as a recidivist, meaning because of his criminal history he will not be eligible for parole, McGinley said.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Robby King, Assistant District Attorney Eliazette Johnson, Investigator Joshua Duke, Victim Services Director Leslie Smith, and Legal Assistant Desiree Kozikowski. The arrest and investigation was handled by the Covington Police Department.
During the week of Nov. 8, a jury found Doylmarrian Hardeman guilty of Possession of Cocaine with Intent to Distribute, Possession of Marijuana with Intent to Distribute, two counts of Possession of a Firearm During Commission of a Felony, felony Fleeing a Police Officer, Driving on a Suspended License, Obstruction of an Officer, and Possession of a Firearm by a Convicted Felon.
Hardeman was sentenced the following week to a total sentence of 40 years with the first 15 years in prison.
"This sentence took into account both the facts and circumstances of the trial case but also Hardeman’s criminal history," McGinley said.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Hunter McCreight, Investigator Colin Cunningham, and the teamwork of Legal Assistants Cindi Hendrix, Sheila Cornelius and Danielle Miller.
The Georgia State Patrol and the Covington Police Department handled the arrest, McGinley said.
Numerous other cases were resolved prior to those November trials "due to the hard work of the office," McGinley said.
He said just a few of note included:
• After filing a demand for a speedy jury trial, Dorian Moragne pleaded guilty to Aggravated Assault based on an unprovoked, blindside punch of the victim at Susie’s Wings on Salem Road in June 2020.
He was sentenced to 15 years with three to serve in prison. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Alex Stone.
• Kevin Brown pleaded guilty to Aggravated Battery, Family Violence. He was sentenced to 15 years with the first three in prison. The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Bailey Wilkinson.